While Apple has enjoyed the success of a physical store for 20 years now, Google is now getting in on the action and will open its first-ever brick-and-mortar store later this summer. Interestingly enough, the company decided to announce its new project just a day after Apple celebrated its 20th anniversary of the Apple Store.
The Google Store was announced via Google’s official blog and described as the “first-ever physical retail store.” According to the blog post, the Google Store will offer a wide palette of Google hardware such as Fitbits, Nest devices, Pixel phones, and more.
However, this is not the first attempt by Google to get into the physical retail store arena. Google is known for its seasonal pop-up stores that appear around the holidays, its small stores within Best Buy in the United States, and some other larger stores worldwide.
Then there were Google’s Barges, floating retail showrooms that traveled the world to showcase Google’s tech and products. But that project never saw the light of the day because of fire safety concerns.
A similar attempt for a “flagship retail store” was planned in 2015. According to some reports, Google even leased a 5,000 Square foot space in the Soho district in New York City and even spent more than $6 million on renovations. After abandoning the project without any official explanation, Google opted to sublease the building.
In 2018, Google made another go of the same idea, but in Chicago, in the Fulton Market District. There was even an entire article in the Chicago Tribune about Google’s plans to open a “flagship retail store” in Chicago. A follow-up report was released eight months later in which it said that Google halted its plans to open a store there. Then again, there wasn’t any explanation why Google halted their plans so late in the process.
Here we are in 2021, with Google making another go of the same idea – to open a flagship retail store. Named the Google Store, it will open later this summer in Chelsea, NYS, and will be part of Google’s campus there. Along with showcasing products, the employees there will be able to help with troubleshooting problems, deal with repairs, assist with setup, organize how-to workshops, etc.
Customers will also be able to try any hardware within the store as long as they follow the COVID-19 protocols. That means only a limited number of people will be allowed simultaneously in the store. Masks will be a must, social distancing required, and so on.
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